Aye, come, come. Pull up a headstone and sit. Welcome. I’ve gotten rid of that nuisance twit Dave Benneman for the day. Maybe longer we’ll have to see. I’ve locked him up in the Talbot Masoleum. It will keep him at least ’til the next full moon. All wagers are off after that.

I’ve reached out beyond the grave for our next guess. He is an Irishman, graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, civil servant, theatre critic, the Business Manager of the Lyceum Theatre, and writer of a dozen novels and countless short stories. All the way from his urn in Golden Green Crematorium and Mausoleum in London, please welcome Abraham Stoker.

GD: “Mr. Stoker, You are best known for your novel Dracula, how do you feel about being associated with the king of vampires.”

BS: “I am greatly amused by this particular. My life’s work was in the theatre. My dedication to Henry Irving and the elevation of the theatrical arts is what I should be known for.”

GD: “Are you aware the highest honor a horror writer can receive is named for you?”

BS:  “Yes of course, I’ve heard this. It is an honor, I would have been more honored if Dracula had been adapted for the stage and the Count played by my good friend Henry Irving, as I originally intended. Alas, this was not to be.”

GD: “Your novel holds a unique distinction, for well over a hundred years it has never been out of print. And the epistolary format takes the reader into the story as if he is reading an account of events that recently happened.”

BS: ” That was my intention of course. I set the story in present day England, in familiar settings, where train schedules and mail deliveries were commonly known. These details helped the reader immerse himself in the story.”

GD: “You mean 1887 England. Victorian England was a repressive era, sexually. Yet, many interpret Dracula as overtly sexual. Drawing parallels to the transfer of blood and–”

BS: “I will not denigrate myself by commenting on things of a private nature. It has been my experience, that men will often look for a way to tarnish a thing, which they can claim no credit for.”

GD: “I assure you sir, that is not my intention. What do you think makes Dracula stand the test of time?”

BS: ” First, let me say Dracula was not the first name I settled on while writing the novel. The Un-Dead was the original title. I wrote it over a period of seven years, so many details changed in the course of getting it down. But to answer your question, Dracula was not the first vampire novel. It was however the first to characterize the vampire as a man of culture and means. Who would charm his guests both male and female. Having him come to England from a relatively little known part of the world made his mysterious customs easy to explain away. His means provide the leverage to remain ahead of his detractors.”

GD: “Money, mystery, and power, are intoxicating elements for an antagonist. Today there are thousands of books about vampires, most of which owe their existence to Dracula, not to mention film and television adaptations. I would like to mention another popular theme I believe you had a part in and that is the ancient Egyptian mummy who is brought back to life by an archaeologist.”

BS: “Ah, you refer to The Jewel of Seven Stars, my personal favorite, although the ending was not received with much applause. It would seem no matter how wretchedly life behaves toward men, they crave a happy-ending, especially in fiction. Similar complaints arose over The Lair Of The White Worm.”

GD: “It’s been implied that your turn toward darker endings had to do with your relationship and mistreatment by Henry Irving.”

BS: “Dear boy, I will not stand by whilst you slander my friend. Good day.”

Have you noticed that writers, both deceased and present are twits. The dead one’s have no manners. They leave you hanging in the wind, if I may. I wonder what that’s about? You might think their publicists are pushing them along the talk show circuit, running from one grave yard to the next to promote a new project.

Dave left a quotation to share with you but I have chosen a few of my own. These are from a more light-hearted vampire story titled, You Suck; A Love Story By Christopher Moore.

“Not unlike the toaster, I control darkness.”

“Only cops and vampires have to have an invitation  to enter.”

“She knew it should bother her more, being evil and all, but after she put on a little mascara and some lipstick and poured herself another cup of blood-laced coffee, she found that she was okay with it.”

“Do we still have to floss?” Tommy asked. “I mean, what’s the point of being immortal if we have to floss?”

Come back to see if I’ve let the twit out of Talbot’s tomb next week.

Digger

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